8.12.10

sasha and cecille, in the secret sunken garden, in the snow



Last Thursday I had the most amazing, magic experience. I had just come from a long lovely lunch with my beautiful friend Natayla, and the snow had finally stuck in our part of town (the first few days it was bizarre: South Kensington was in like a no snow zone).



I was walking home thinking that there was no one out to street shoot, and I went into the garden - our wonderful, secret sunken garden. The garden is unique to all the garden squares in leafy London: it has a church in the middle, and is sunken below street level, and, surrounded by hedges, the same 'privits' that surrounded our childhood home, that in the summer flowers, giving off the most heady scent. That scent brings me straight back to my childhood with a power no words could describe. And it is totally hidden from the outside world.



I was just shooting this rose when I heard a voice calling 'Hello?' I was all alone in the garden and it was Sasha, with his girlfriend, Cecille. He explained that his grandmother used to live on the square, and they were visiting from Paris, and oh so politely, asked if he could show Cecille the garden that he had such happy memories in.



So I got my 'street shots' and showed him how to leave the locked gate ajar, so they could get out (it's locked both inside and out) and left them alone, so he could show her his childhood.




But here's the strange part: because it was cold, I only told them my details, altho he offered his. And I haven't heard from them, and have no idea how to reach them. It almost feels like my imagination. I haven't had a chance to go back to the garden since, so perhaps they're still there.

. . .

p.s. Just heard from Cécile (I spelled her AND Sacha's names wrong) - they're back in Paris and I love the way she writes English with the little French twists like 'your story of this aprés afternoon in this garden is fabulous' and 'Thank you for this memory in picure of London'. I'll hopefully see them again sometime soon: they'd be such great subjects to do a shoot with together.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi!
I am so sorry about the dilemma you are caught upon with the blog from a spanish blogger. I am also a spanish blogger and don't worry I can confirm you that even if she is not publishing your comments, we are all aware of the injustice that has been done.
That said I think she didn't mean any harm and she is panicking right now and is not sure what to do.
I hope everything works out for the best
Best wishes from
http://secretfling.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill!
I am thrilled that you liked my blog. The likeness is reciprocal. I would add you as a friend in FB but as I don't have one it is impossible. Be sure to inform me if you get to know Charlotte Olympia (an obssesion of mine) personally.
I hope this incident doesn't ruin your relationship with either Spain or Elle.
If you need anything you can always count on me.
http://secretfling.wordpress.com/

Ps Not sure what happened to my previous message.

polka dot said...

I certainly will! (re Charlotte O).

That's weird, I don't know why it didn't publish because I got sent it. If you didn't delete it, I"ll publish it on your behalf - by cutting and pasting - because I feel it's good, what you said, and because I want anyone reading this to know: I am not angry with Carmen B personally - and have sent her a facebook request. All thru these past few days I've constantly been saying to my husband, and friends, (and the cat) that I really feel for what Carmen must be feeling. This is in no way a personal attack on her: it is the responsibility of her editorial superiors.

I have a friend who is editor in chief of an online magazine. She works very hard to meet her deadlines every week and no matter how late it takes, she makes sure - even tho she tells her staff that they may not copy anything - by using google, she checks by hand every sentence that will be published. If as much as one sentence is stolen, it cannot go in.

And this is for a publication that isn't anywhere near as large as Elle. (not yet anyway!)

Of course this doesn't remotely change my feelings for either Elle, or Spain. I love both and I'm a loyal person - and a forgiving one. I am sure this will be resolved in a beautiful way, which will make a great post.

I just want to learn from this so I can help others who will, no doubt, go thru this in the future, as the digital world continues to grow. It will happen but we don't need to feel victimised by it.

Thank you, and please people check out her blog it's wonderful. xx

Anonymous said...

The lovely original message from Anonymous, in Spain:

Hi!
I am so sorry about the dilemma you are caught upon with the blog from a spanish blogger. I am also a spanish blogger and don't worry I can confirm you that even if she is not publishing your comments, we are all aware of the injustice that has been done.
That said I think she didn't mean any harm and she is panicking right now and is not sure what to do.
I hope everything works out for the best
Best wishes from
http://secretfling.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

How bizarre!! Now your 2nd post disappeared, too! I wonder who else this is happening to, because I have no other comments on this post.

Pasting it in here:

. . .



Hi Jill!
I am thrilled that you liked my blog. The likeness is reciprocal. I would add you as a friend in FB but as I don't have one it is impossible. Be sure to inform me if you get to know Charlotte Olympia (an obssesion of mine) personally.
I hope this incident doesn't ruin your relationship with either Spain or Elle.
If you need anything you can always count on me.
http://secretfling.wordpress.com/

Ps Not sure what happened to my previous message.

Shopgirl said...

I love these little private gardens in London. I always wanted to see inside of one... Bit like in Notting Hill where they climb over the gate!! I love all of the trees and leaves and flowers covered in snow. so pretty.

ByeByeSoccerMom said...

Oh Jill, you're right we must've been sisters in our lives before... Scent has magical power in my life too. I remember when I first immigrated here I felt as if I moved to another planet and there was no way to go back. It was not just travel in space but seemed like in time too. Sort of like leaving your childhood and your past behind and moving on. When I left I didn't know how soon I'd be able to see my parents if ever (it was three years later, they were able to visit me here).
But scent has as you said magical power. I could sometimes come across some scents like spring flowers, or that forest smell in the park or even Nina Ricci perfume in the Mall that my mom used to have. All I had to do is just close my eyes and due to the magic power of scent I was transported back to my childhood, back to Georgia...

sorry to rattle on..
or course you have my PERMISSION ;) to use my shots. I would be honored if you did that with my Louboutin shoe DIY. Thanks so much for thinking of that and I'm so glad you liked the result. I must admit I am pleased too. REally appreciate your thoughtfulness!

xx
maya

ByeByeSoccerMom said...

p.s.
this post is very very special. LOVE all the pictures from the secret garden. you captured the magic! how do you do that?! you have a gift.
btw, i love Bruce Springsteen's song Secret Garden. the lyrics mean a lot to me in that song. i'm sure you've heard it.
xx

polka dot said...

Thank you, Maya aka Soccer Mom. Please, rattle away! I had planned to do this post before ElleGate, and now I feel like sweet Carrie's post and this one got sidelined. Oh! And suddenly I'm down one follower. Just think: someone read what I've gone thru and decided to take the action to stop following my blog. Somehow I can't help but feel I'm better off without her (assuming it's a her).

Doing your little post shortly - just have to type up the minutes for tomorrow's annual Garden Square Meeting (I'm the secretary).

LOVE what you said about memory and scent and Nina Ricci perfume. I can feel a post coming up in that.. altho it will be tricky to illustrate photographically. Have a lovely day. xx

the style crusader said...

love these images. i'm so glad the snow stuck down in london town for you. i love this couples look. the girl looks well dressed for the snow and her hair cut is adorable. xx

nyanzi said...

oh the snow. here in surrey we're still covered in white with no signs of it abatting.

great pictures of this lovely couple.

styleeast said...

Ah, Jill, this warmed my heart! I logged on just to check the latest in the Elle saga (which I've now caught up on!) but this is the first one that caught my eye. Lovely couple, gorgeous scenery and a story with some romance about it. Perfect xx

Beautifully Invisible said...

Though your unfortunate experience with copyright infringement is what introduced me to your blog, it is posts like these that will keep me here.

You have a wonderful eye for capturing something "ordinary" and making it anything but. All of the images in this post, but especially the rose and foliage, just "speak". They have their own voice through your photography, and make us feel like we were there with you.

Such a beautiful couple, too - I hope you are able to reach them one day!

adrielleroyale said...

These pictures are just beautiful - gorgeous! I LOVE the last one especially because of all the warm colors on the leaves despite the obvious cold of the snow. Awesome shots Jill, great post :)

Style Odyssey said...

beautiful, beautiful snowy images, especially that lone red rose. breathtaking, Jill. i love your nature photos.

her down jacket...i have almost the exact same one- mine's old navy, purchased on a whirlwind thanksgiving weekend shopping trip w/ a dear friend, in- of all places to buy a coat- san juan, puerto rico! i like wearing it because not only is it warm but it reminds me to expect the unexpected (coat-buying in puerto rico, for example) and makes me think of that special weekend with my sweet friend annie from essex.

xo